by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 12

Performance, Stake-Out, Abduction.

'What'll I wear?'

'Whatever you like.'

'Are you sure there's no dress code?'

'At the straight clubs there is, but not at Phallus Palace or Hole in One. No one would come if there was.'

'Which one are we going to?'

'Phallus. It's the classiest and most guys are young. Rodney only performs at the 'Hole' midweek for old guys who reckon it's too noisy at weekends.

Desolé was not feeling generous, but common sense dictated she keep her son happy so she lent him her car and pressed fifty dollars into his hand on condition he didn't drink or take drugs. That was no penance as he was so terrified of losing his self control he had no plans to indulge in anything stronger than water. Reginald avoided all drugs for different reasons. He'd been on a health kick since starting to take karate seriously three years before, so intoxicants held no appeal to him either.

They found a parking spot about five hundred metres from the club in Lake Street and raced each other through the warm evening to a doorway at the bottom of a staircase. The doorman, in cut off jeans, too many rings through too many parts of his face, and an abbreviated tank top, waved them up and their money was swapped for a purple stamp of a phallus on the back of their hands.

Inside the noise was heart-stopping rather than merely loud. The bass turned up enough to bring down the walls of Jericho. Most guys were in board shorts and tank tops, or jeans and no tops, so Sebastian's skimpy running shorts and naked everything else attracted a fair bit of positive attention, as did Reginald in nothing but Sebastian's old pale blue Lycra wrestling gear that was stretched almost to transparency.

In vain, however, did their admirers ogle and ask for dances. Sebastian and Reginald had eyes only for each other, and the energetic combination of karate moves with Sebastian's extraordinary flexibility proved such a winner everyone stopped dancing to watch. Their innocent confusion when they realised they'd been dancing alone in the glare of a spotlight, drew spontaneous laughter and applause.

Unaware of the magnitude of the gesture in a gay club where genuine compliments are as rare as hens' teeth, they just grinned and escaped to the shadows where a middle-aged man as lean and tall as Reginald approached and, using sign language as it was impossible to hear, indicated they should follow.

Inside the relatively quiet office, Reginald's father introduced himself to Sebastian and eyed both young men critically. 'Why'd you bother wearing clothes?'

Reginald grinned nervously. 'We had to walk half a kilometre from the car.'

His father sniffed and gazed reflectively at Sebastian. 'So, you're the young man my son has ditched his parents to live with?'

Sebastian could think of nothing to say. Mr. Blackthorn was giving mixed messages. He looked pleasant enough—almost handsome, but seemed angry. And Reginald was apparently too nervous to be any help.

Mr. Blackthorn changed tack and gave a wry smile. 'That's the first time anyone's been applauded for dancing in this place. Queers are so fucking jealous of each other they'd sooner stick a knife into someone than tell them they're good at anything. Mind you, it was probably your gear, or lack of it, that triggered it.' He reached into his desk and brought out some money. 'Here, the boss's son doesn't have to pay to get into this hell hole.'

Reginald accepted it gratefully. 'Thanks, Dad. Is Mum angry?'

'No idea, Son, I haven't been home since you left. You gave me the courage to get out permanently.'

'I had no idea… Where are you staying?'

'In Geraldine's flat in Whitfield.'

'Who's Geraldine?'

'The woman I've been more or less living with for the last five years. The woman I love.'

'You're joking! I had no idea. What's Mum doing?'

'Praying to her omnipotent god for help, I imagine. The house is rented so he'd better get a wriggle on as the rent's due next week. Anyway, here's my address and you've got my mobile number, so call me if you need anything. Seriously.' He stopped and stared at his son to reinforce the message. 'Now your mother's no longer in the way, we can start to communicate. I just hope it isn't too late?' He looked questioningly at his son, who smiled shyly.

'No, Dad, it isn't. And… thanks. But… I'm still not sure how you feel about me being gay; we've somehow never spoken about anything really important.'

'Being gay's not important, Reg. Being an independent man, that's important; and that's what you are so I'm proud of you! Now get on out there and enjoy yourselves. Rodney's on stage in a minute and I know you don't want to miss him.'

The lights dimmed as they returned to the dance floor, a spot played on the tiny stage and two burly bouncers carried in an average sized sports bag, placing it carefully in the spotlight before opening the zip and sauntering off.

The bag twitched and everyone laughed. An arm appeared through the opening, waved, then was joined by the rest of Rodney as he gracefully unwound and rose to his feet, dressed in overalls. He stretched languorously, the soft bag collapsed and it seemed impossible that he had fitted in such a tiny space. When one of the bouncers returned to pick up the bag, Rodney tried to stop him but he pulled it roughly away, taking with it the sleeves of Rodney's overalls. Rodney hurled himself at the powerfully built man only to be tossed aside, now minus the rest of his overalls, which were now also in the hands of the bouncer.

Sleek and formidable in a speedo, Rodney held everyone enthralled with his flexibility, finally rolling himself into a ball where he appeared to be stuck, twitching as though in trouble. It looked as if he'd tied himself in a knot and was unable to undo himself.

The bouncer returned, made a show of trying to untangle him, failed, so picked up the tangled ball of limbs by the speedo, shook it, then tossed it in the air. By the time he hit the floor Rodney was on his feet, everyone cheered and clapped.

His pièce de résistance was a perfect one-armed handstand while he jerked himself off with his free hand, capturing a surprising amount of the creamy discharge in his mouth.

Sebastian and Reginald joined him in the tiny dressing room a few minutes later and showered congratulations. He was pleased, although he reckoned Sebastian had almost upstaged him in his outfit. He gave Reginald a hug and invited them back to his place. It was nearly midnight, they stank of smoke, were a sick of the too loud music and the increasingly spaced out and drunk or drugged guys hitting on them, so followed Rodney's car to his flat.

Rodney made them coffee and had them laughing with tales of the bizarre places and people where he'd stripped the previous week.

'Have you ever worked in the hotel at the north of the Esplanade?'

Rodney gave Reginald an odd look. 'Why do you ask?'

'We saw a few young guys going in and out and wondered if they were rent boys.'

'I'm not a rent boy. Nor a prostitute. I don't fuck or let myself get fucked. I'm a stripper, creative dancer and as pure as the driven snow.'

'Of course, that's obvious. But have you performed there?'

'As it happens, yes.' Rodney paused as he remembered. 'It was about six months ago. There was some sort of celebration. An old bloke had had an operation and threw a party for about a dozen men — Chinese, mostly, I think, but could have been Vietnamese or Filipino… I'm hopeless at that sort of thing. They and their boys seemed pleased with my display.'


'They all had young guys sitting with them. Obviously rent boys and very young. No one over twenty. One kid could have been no more that twelve. Smart little cunt. Told me to fuck off when I suggested it was a dangerous occupation. Anyway, none of my business.'

'Who paid you?'

'A great fat lump. Fartboy or some equally repellent name.'


'Probably. Why?'

'We think he's doing more than organising parties. Seems he's into other even less salubrious activities.'

'Do tell.'

'Don't know anything yet, but we'll keep you informed.'

'Do that and come and see me during the holidays, I'm awake and home most afternoons.'

'Unless you're at the swimming pool ogling young men.'

'There's been nothing worth ogling since you electrified the place in your pouch. Tell you what, join me next Wednesday at the 'Hole in One'. We'll do a double act.

'And give all the old blokes heart attacks,' Reginald laughed.

'What do you reckon?' Sebastian turned to Reginald.

'Go for it!'

'We'll come to your place Wednesday afternoon to confirm, Okay?'


The following morning they cycled again to Rex and Fee's in time for breakfast, during which they regaled their audience with their night at the Phallus Palace and Rodney's performance. Everyone was pleased about Reginald's warming relationship with his father.

Con was already there, having stayed the night after reporting to Rex and Fee when he returned after darkness the previous night. He summarised for the boys.

'After you guys left nothing happened for several hours. When it got darker I realised there was a light on a room in the left wing, about where Sebastian said he saw the operating theatre. Then the back door light came on and two guys came out carrying a heavy bundle which they took to the incinerator, dowsed it in kerosene and set alight, feeding the roaring flames for about half an hour with great logs of wood. It got really hot, even the steel chimney glowed red. After the first waft of kerosene, there was a brief smell of burning but then with the intense heat there was no smoke or smell, just a dull roar.

'When the fire died down they raked through it to make sure it was all burned, then closed it down and returned to the building where another room was now lit. The large car with Farzdbuk and the doctor left, but the ambulance guys and the two nurses stayed. By midnight I realised there'd be nothing more to see so I came back.'

'And they didn't return whoever was in the stretcher to the other building — the prison?'


'I feel sick.'

'Hang on, Sebastian, don't jump to conclusions. That person could be recuperating in the hospital part with the other fellow who was wheeled in on a gurney.'

'Yes. But somehow…'

'When are we going out there again?'

'Straight after breakfast, Reginald,' Fee said quietly. 'But this time I'll be staying home and Rex will go with you.'

This time they drove further along the track to conceal the cars in case someone had seen them in the disused quarry the day before. It was a much more cautious and nervous little band who again set off through the scrub. Something odd was happening in the hospital and it didn't look good.

All was quiet when they settled in their positions. They could hear a radio announcer and music. At mid morning one of the ambulance men came out and hung washing on the line. It looked like the sort of green overalls worn in operating theatres. At noon the doctor drove up and went inside, staying for an hour, then departed. The watchers retreated into the bush to eat their cut lunch and confer, deciding to stay until dark.

At sunset, Farzdbuk arrived with the doctor. They stayed for half an hour, then left, nodding their heads as they walked down the steps to the car as if pleased with themselves.

Half an hour later it was dark, the lights were on in two rooms only, a TV screen flickered and they crept carefully back through the scrub to the cars.

Con, who was staying with Rex and Fee until the problem was solved, drove the young men home in the Holden wagon, making a last ditch attempt to persuade them not to meet Farzdbuk the following morning. He stopped half a block away and they removed their bikes from the back.

'Okay, then. Promise me this. Have your mobiles set so one touch will ring me. Do it now and test it.'

They did, and it worked.

'Test it again the minute you're inside so we know it works.'

A few minutes later Con's phone rang.

'Good lads. It's all working. I'll be parked just down the road from your house from daybreak on. At the first sign of trouble, promise you will ring me!'

'We promise. But you can't get into the house, it's a bit of a security fortress.'

'They won't do anything there. If something dodgy is planned they'll take you away and I'll follow. Understood?'

'Now you're making me worried.'

'Good. So will you now listen to common sense and refuse to go and meet Farzdbuk?'

'We're not wimping out, Constantine.'

'That's a pity. Ok, if I don't hear from you within ten minutes of Farzdbuk arriving, I'll assume you need help and will be ready. These are not pleasant men. They're doing something bad, I can feel it. I want you to be frightened and take no risks. Promise?'

'We promise.'

Desolé was clearly relieved to see them and didn't risk asking where they'd been or why they were so late. She seemed distracted and went to bed early, leaving them watching TV.

Neither felt like sex, they were too nervous, but didn't dare speak about it in case they were overheard. Finally they fell asleep in each other's arms, both secretly wishing they'd not been so foolhardy and listened to Rex and Con.

The following morning, Desolé slept in so Sebastian and Reginald made their own breakfast and had just finished when they heard a vehicle enter the garage.

Outside, Con had noted the car and it's solitary inhabitant, relieved because the two young men could make mincemeat out of one fat old man.

Sebastian peered down and was relieved to see it was only Farzdbuk squeezing his car beside Desolé's before closing the garage doors. They were waiting by the pool when Farzdbuk let himself in and wandered out.

'Thanks for seeing me,' he wheezed. 'In your holidays too.'

'What do you want?' Sebastian asked coolly.

'I've a proposition to make.'

'Go ahead.'

'Come with me and I'll show you.'


'To see a friend with a business proposition.'

'No. We're staying here. He can come to us.'

Farzdbuk's eyes closed slightly, but he smiled and said simply, 'Fair enough. I'll tell him.'

Sebastian moved as if to get up.

'Don't get up, I can see myself out.'

Sebastian and Reginald waited till they heard the door to the garage slam shut before hugging themselves in relief. 'All that worry for nothing.'

But of course life is never that simple.

Having slammed the door to the basement garage, Farzdbuk quietly opened the foyer door to the street where a pair of shaven headed toughs with tattoos and boots and unpleasant faces were waiting. They followed Farzdbuk silently through the lounge, then with a commendable turn of speed hurtled out to the pool and dragged the young men to their feet, pinning their arms behind them. Shouts and struggles only lasted until the contents of the syringes Farzdbuk inexpertly squirted into their veins took hold and the young men slumped like stringless puppets onto the grass.

Mobile phones were kicked into the pool, then the apparently lifeless bodies were manhandled down the stairs and dumped in the boot of Farzdbuk's car, which backed quietly out of the garage and sped away. Con was relieved to again see only one person in the car, and remained patiently waiting for a call.

The two heavies slipped out the front door and strolled nonchalantly back the way they'd come, concealed from Con's view by a dense grevillea hedge.

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